Ambitious proposals for Wales to increase its organic output
Could Wales become 30% organic in the next decade? Plaid Cymru is pushing for Wales to increase it's organic output with an ambitious plan to support farmers who want to convert to organic growing. Currently Wales has more land under organic management than either England, Scotland or Northern Ireland, and in the light of Brexit - where farmers will potentially lose European subsidies - Plaid Cymru argue this is the perfect opportunity to invest in organic conversion.
"As a small country, Wales could emphasise its distinctiveness by selling itself as an organic food nation," says Simon Thomas, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affiars. "A radical response is needed to the possibility of Brexit. We can use a new farm payment scheme to encourage and enable farmers to convert to organic farming."
In his draft paper, Thomas states that "currently no subsidies offered by the Welsh Government to incentivise conversion to, or maintenance of, organic land, or the supply of organic produce."
1. That the Welsh Government needs to reinstate targets for the growth of organic farming as part of its response to the challenge of leaving the European Union.
2. That Wales has an agricultural economy well placed to increase land under organic farming.
3. That an increase in organic farming can be a significant part of delivering the ambition of “public goods” set out in the Welsh Government’s consultation “Brexit and our land”.
4. That organic farming can meet many of our objectives under the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
He argues that "Organic production may be particularly appropriate for upland, mainly sheep, farming in Wales. This is the sector most exposed to the threats of Brexit but also a sector that has great potential to achieve the wider public goods advocated by Welsh Government such as landscape, woodland creation, water quality and biodiversity."